petticoat

[pet-ee-koht] /ˈpɛt iˌkoʊt/
noun
1.
Also called pettiskirt. an underskirt, especially one that is full and often trimmed and ruffled and of a decorative fabric.
2.
any skirtlike part or covering.
3.
a flounce or valance fitting around the sides of a bed, couch, or chair, as to conceal the legs.
4.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a woman or girl (usually used facetiously).
adjective
5.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. of, pertaining to, or controlled by women; female; feminine:
"petticoat government."
Origin
1375–1425; late Middle English petycote. See petty, coat
Related forms
petticoatless, adjective
underpetticoat, noun
Usage note
In reference to a female, this term is usually used for humorous effect, but is sometimes perceived as insulting or demeaning to women.
Example Sentences for petticoat
They were painted white and wore nothing but a short petticoat.
As she summons the field hands for their meal, a gust of wind reveals a provocative bit of petticoat and her shapely ankles.
Each petticoat would contain approximately five to seven yards of fabric, as did the skirt.
British Dictionary definitions for petticoat
petticoat (ˈpɛtɪˌkəʊt)
 
n
1.  a woman's light undergarment in the form of an underskirt or including a bodice supported by shoulder straps
2.  informal
 a.  a humorous or mildly disparaging name for a woman
 b.  (as modifier): petticoat politics
 
[C15: see petty, coat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for petticoat
petticoat
1412, pety coote, lit. "a small coat," from petty + coat. Originally a padded coat worn by men under armor, applied 1464 to a garment worn by women and young children. By 1593, the typical feminine garment, hence a symbol of female sex or character.
"Men declare that the petticoatless female has unsexed herself and has left her modesty behind." ["Godey's Magazine," April 1896]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for petticoat

in modern usage, an underskirt worn by women. The petycote (probably derived from the Old French petite cote, "little coat") appeared in literature in the 15th century in reference to a kind of padded waistcoat, or undercoat, worn for warmth over the shirt by men. The petticoat developed as a piece of women's apparel-a skirt worn under an overgown-at the end of the Middle Ages. By the beginning of the 16th century, the overgown had an inverted V opening, and the petticoat, now visible, was brocaded or embroidered

Learn more about petticoat with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Difficulty index for petticoat

Most English speakers likely know this word

Tile value for petticoat

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with petticoat